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District Announcements
Elementary Master Schedule
Figuring out which “special” an elementary school student is participating in during a school week is now just a matter of following the calendar and a short set of numbers.

Beginning this school year, Westside Community Schools has created a common master elementary schedule, which should make things simpler for parents/guardians and their children.  “Specials” (physical education, music, art, and foreign language) are on a four-day rotation.  Below is a pdf that lists numbers, which represent the four different “specials” that take place during the academic year for all elementary school.  Your child’s teacher will communicate which number (one through four) corresponds to the special activity for the day.

Also, for the parents/guardians of fifth and sixth grade band/strings students, the pdf also includes information on band/string cycle days.

ATTENTION: The attached pdf has been corrected to reflect the Feb. 2 and 4 inclement weather school cancellation days.   

Specials Calendar through the end of the 2014-15 school year
 
Home of the Sunset Hills Tigers!
The mission of Sunset Hills School, as part of a cohesive, involved community, is to provide a quality, well-rounded education by maximizing opportunities for each learner in a safe and caring environment.
6th Grade Parent Materials
Attached are two documents that the middle school would like sixth grade parents to have access to.  The two documents are the 2015-2016 Curriculum Book, which contains the course descriptions, and a short PowerPoint presentation that was used at the sixth grade parent meetings.  The middle school is trying to do as much of the registration process online as possible, so there are a few slides in the presentation that show how to do that.

Parent Meeting PowerPoint

Curriculum Book
Turn Off the Screen Week!
Turn Off the Screen Week was held last week and was a huge success!  Students were provided with many alternate activities to enjoy over things that involve a screen.  The week started off with a delicious dinner from the Pancake Man, followed by the traditional Fun Run on Tuesday afternoon.  On Wednesday, kids had a great time choosing free books from the book exchange.  Nature Night on Thursday was a huge hit this year!  It provided students and families with educational activities and interesting animals to see and pet.  Some student favorites were:  the sheep, rabbit, owl, turtle and most importantly, the legless lizard.  The week finished with a Raptor program, presented by Fontenelle Forest.  WOW!  What a week!  Students who officially pledged to turn off the screen for the week received a certificate and a free pass to Fontenelle Forest.  Thank you to everyone who helped make this week a success!  Click Here to See Photos
3rd Grade Does Their Part For Earth Day!
Mrs. McMeekin's third graders did their part to celebrate Earth Day.  On Wednesday, they gloved up, got their trash bags and headed outside.  They walked all around the grounds of Sunset Hills to pick up trash.  They talked about the importance of each person doing their part to keep our community and school a clean place.  The third graders were amazed that they almost filled two trash bags!  Way to go Third Grade!!
Sunset Hills Participates in Fuel Up Event!
On April 14th, students from all over Nebraska had the opportunity to attend a Fuel Up 360 event at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.  Sunset Hills was lucky enough to take a group of students who have worked hard on this program throughout the year.  After a healthy breakfast, students heard from Governor Pete Ricketts to kick off the event, before walking out through the tunnel (just like Nebraska football players do)!  Students then participated in numerous movement and football-type drills with current Husker athletes.   The afternoon consisted of hearing from local dairy farmers, and Husker legend Rex Burkhead!  What an amazing opportunity and experience for these students to fuel up and get active!  Click Here to See Photos
Sunset Hills Carnival!
Last Friday, Sunset Hills held the school carnival.  It was a huge success, as it always is, when it is held every two years.  Some highlights from the evening were:  a cotton candy machine, root beer floats, popcorn, a grilled dinner, face painters, balloon art,  Rainbow Trout the Clown, a cake walk, three inflatables, 20 different games to choose from, and a silent auction of priceless classroom art.  There was a very large turn-out, including former Sunset Hills students, who were there to volunteer.  A huge thank-you to the teachers, parents and students who pitched in to create such a fun evening!  Click Here to see Photos
3rd Grader Places in Poster Contest!
Every year, third graders are invited to participate in a poster contest sponsored by the Henry Doorly Zoo.  This year the theme was to illustrate your favorite experience at the zoo.  The competition in Mrs. McMeekin's third grade was tough, with so many great posters to choose from.  Charlie Henningsen was chosen as the winner for Sunset Hills.  He recently attended a party at the zoo with other school winners from across Nebraska.  Out of over 3,300 students that participated in this contest, Charlie's poster came in 5th place!  Congratulations Charlie on this great accomplishment!
Fuel Up Event Receives Special Visitors!
On Friday, Sunset Hills students had the opportunity to meet the UNO Men's Soccer team.  Led by the UNO head coach and players, this after school, Fuel Up to Play 60 event gave students the chance to be active for 60 minutes!  These athletes demonstrated multiple footwork and soccer skills, before giving students a chance to participate with them.   Thank you to the Mavs for taking time to visit our school to assist in getting students to be life-long movers!  Also a special thanks to P.E. teacher, Andrew Mantzaris, and sixth grade teacher, Deb Kruse, for organizing this event!  Click To See Photos
Sunset Hills Honors Rare Disease Day
On Friday, students at Sunset Hills honored Rare Disease Day, which will take place on Saturday, February 28th.  This day takes place to to raise awareness for kids with rare diseases.  Students in all grades participated in a neon-themed Spirit Day.  Donations were accepted and all money raised will go to Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes for kids with these diseases.  
Art & Soup Night!
On Friday, Sunset Hills held the third annual Art and Soup Night!  This night featured an all school art show, a free soup/chili dinner and contest, and many activities.  Students and families browsed art displays, got their faces painted and participated in the numerous, fun, art-related activities.  This year was extra special, as visiting artists, Lisa Worrall and Bart Vargas were in attendance.  Both of these artists previously worked with all students to create art for the show.  Donations that were collected will support the Community Club's art program, ArtPALS.  Thank you to the Sunset Hills Community Club, the soup-maker's, the volunteers, the students and families of Sunset, and especially our visiting artists!  An incredible night was had by all!  Click Here To See Photos
Author Julia Cook Visits Sunset Hills!
Earlier this week, Sunset Hills was lucky to have author, Julia Cook, present to all grades.  Cook is an award-winning children’s author and has written more than three dozen books.  The goal behind all of her books is to actively involve young people into her fun and creative stories and teach them to become life-long problem solvers.   Cook made a very special announcement to say that Sunset Hills was her 1,000th school she has visited! Click Here to See Photos
Artist Visits Sunset Hills!
Last week, Sunset Hills was incredibly lucky to have visiting artist, Lisa Worrall here to work with students.  On Tuesday, she gave a short presentation to the entire school about her background and how she came to be an artist.  She also brought and shared her own artwork.   On Friday, Worrall guided all students in the use of paper, scissors, and glue to create unique pieces of art!  Many thanks to Lisa Worrall,  the Sunset ArtPals program for making this opportunity possible, Jenny Henningsen for coordinating this event and to the many ArtPals volunteers.
Click Here to See Photos
Sunset Hills Celebrates Kindness Week!
Last week the students and staff at Sunset Hills celebrated Kindness Week.  There were many activities that took place to celebrate being kind.  Second graders watched kindness videos and made a Kindness Quilt.  Third graders talked about what kindness means to them and made an iMovie.   Click Here to See 3rd Grade Movie
3rd Graders Receive Visit from Critters!
Sunset Hills third graders received a visit from Fontenelle Forest.  The program, Critters on the Move, gave an opportunity for the students to have an up-close and personal meet and greet with some educational animals.  They learned about what different animal groups have in common and what features and behaviors make each animal unique. Click Here to See Photos
2nd/3rd Share Fair!
In December, students from Mrs. Lusero's and Ms. Guenther's second grade classes, as well as Mrs. McMeekin's third grade class participated in a Share Fair.  Students were given the opportunity to choose a topic of interest, research the topic, and choose a method of presentation.  They worked hard for a couple of months to gather their information, using the research skills that were taught to them.  Students taught each other about animals, sports, history, places and science.  The different presentations included:  Haiku Deck slideshows, Keynote presentations, tri-fold boards, posters, reports, and hands-on experiments.  It was a great way to teach each other and use the technology we have available.  Click to see Photos
Artist Visits Sunset Hills!
Cardboard and tape mixed with colorful paint gave Sunset Hills students, grades K-6, a great art lesson in December.  Artist Bart Vargas came to talk about how he uses recyclable materials to create unique art.  Vargas has exhibited nationally and internationally and is a member of the Art faculty at the University of Nebraska Omaha.  The art sculpture that each child created will be on display at the school’s annual Art and Soup Night on February 20th.  Click Here For More Photos...
Gingerbread Houses!
Last week, Sunset Hills continued the annual tradition of making gingerbread houses.  It has always been a great, after-school opportunity for students to participate in.  Older students were paired with younger students to create many gingerbread house masterpieces. The houses were delivered to Ambassador Health of Omaha, for them to enjoy during the holiday season.  Many thanks to everyone who helped out with this activity:  SGA, Sunset staff, Community Club, and countless parent volunteers.  Click Here to See Photos
Grandfriend's Day
Sunset Hills held their annual Grandfriend's Day before Thanksgiving.  The event started with a music program in the gym.  Students then brought their grandfriends to their classrooms for some special activities.  These included: making turkey cookies, performing a reader's theater and an interview with their grandfriend.  It was a great afternoon!  Click to See Photos
Preschool Art Fair!
Last week the Sunset Hills Preschool held their annual Art Fair.   A couple of months were spent working with the children to create beautiful works of art.  Then, families came out for a special night of friends, pizza and art.  The fundraiser included the children's artwork, and themed baskets, contributed by our families.  These items were raffled off.  The Art Fair Night allows the preschool program to purchase special learning tools and toys that are above and beyond the normal annual allowance.  This is a very exciting time for our preschool community! Click to See Photos
Help Support the Westside Food Pantry!
The Sunset Hills SGA is sponsoring a food drive for the Westside Food Pantry.  Non-perishable items can be brought in the remainder of this week, as well as next week.  A box is located by the front door to drop donations in. Please consider helping SGA support families in our Westside Community during this holiday season!
Friendship Feast
This week, fourth graders joined with the preschooler's for a Friendship Feast.  During their time together the students enjoyed doing the Mexican Hat Dance, sharing some nachos, making Thanksgiving cards and reading with friends.  Click Here to See Photos
Sunset Hills Honors Veterans!
Last week, a special concert was held at Sunset Hills to show our support of the many veterans in our community. Led by Ms. Gloria Stover, the second and third graders performed a music program to to honor our country. Students invited any of their family or friends who have served.  At the end of the program, each veteran's name was read.  If they were able to attend the program, they were delivered a special star made by the students as a thank-you from all of us at Sunset Hills!  What a special day!  Click Here to See More Photos...
SGA Fundraises For Open Door Mission
It has been a tradition at Sunset Hills for the student government to raise money during the month of November for the Open Door Mission.  The money will go toward providing turkey dinners for those who otherwise may not be able to have a Thanksgiving dinner.  Donations can be given by your student to their classroom teacher and will be accepted through Friday, November 21st.  Other fundraising events are:

Monday, November 10th:  Bake Sale, 3:30 p.m., All Items 50 cents.
Friday, November 21st:  Spirit Day, Twin Day

Thank you for your support of this great cause!
Halloween Parade!
Sunset Hills students had a great time on Halloween at the annual parade and classroom parties!  It was a beautiful day, and a lot of fun was had!  Thank you to all of the parent volunteers who worked hard to plan such great parties! Click Here to See More Photos...
Grades 4-6 Perform "Wicked!"
Last Thursday, grades 4-6 put on a very entertaining performance of "Wicked!"  The students did an excellent job, and "Wicked" was definitely a crowd favorite!  A special thanks to Mrs. Stover for all of her hard work, on another great concert!  Click Here to See More Photos...
SGA Pumpkin Decorating Contest!
Sunset Hill's Student Government Association (SGA) is sponsoring our First Annual Pumpkin Contest!  If you would like to participate, decorate a pumpkin with your family, at home.  The pumpkins can be funny, cute, or silly-scary.  You may bring your pumpkin any day this week.  Voting will take place in the morning on Friday, October 31st.  The student with the winning pumpkin will receive a Halloween treat and a poster/book.  Happy pumpkin decorating!!
Sunset Hills Spelling Bee

On Tuesday,, October 21st, the Sunset Hills School Spelling Bee was held at Underwood Hills.    There were 11 qualifying students from grades four, five and six.  All students in grades 4-6  took a written test in October to determine who would compete.   Congratulations to, our school winner Josie Heaston and to Tyler Spady, who placed second in  the competition.  Josie and Tyler will move on to  the Westside School District Bee which will be held on Friday, November 21st at the Community Conference Center.  We wish them much luck!! Eddie Pike placed third and will also be invited to attend the competition to cheer for our school.  Congratulations to all!!

 

Here is a list of the finalists that qualified for the Sunset Hills Spelling Bee:


6th Kruse

Will Eikenbary

Parker Kotas

Cameron Miller

Matthew Salfity

Griffin Wolf

 

5th Ashley-Laing

Mitchell Fehr

Josie Heaston

Tyler Spady
Mrs. Lusero's Class Learns about Natural Resources!
In science class the second grade students are learning about natural resources and why they are important. This week students in Mrs. Lusero's class observed two different types of soils and used their senses to find similarities and differences between sandy soil and potting soil. Students used a magnifying glass and water dropper to learn more about the soils. We discovered that sandy soil is rough and potting soil is smooth, but both are made of tiny peices and soak up water. The kids had fun observing and playing with the different types of soil. 
2nd Grade Welcomes Special Visitors!
Last week second grade had a visit from two different service dogs. York is a labrador who works as a therapy dog to help people who may need cheering up or comforting. Blossom is a golden retriever in training to help someone with a disability. We talked about different people who may need service dogs, how service dogs are trained, and the life of a service dog. Second graders earned this educational visit as a class reward. The dogs also stopped in the kindergarten classroom as well.
Sunset Hills Stars Shine!
On Tuesday evening, Sunset Hills held their annual talent show.  Wow!  What talented students we have!  There was something for everyone to enjoy:  singing, dancing, piano, magic, skits, and overall great entertainment.  Thank you to all of the students who participated and put in hours of practice!  Also, a very special thank-you to the Sunset parents who organized and ran this event!  Bravo!  Click here to see more photos...
Green Apple Day of Service!
After school, on Monday, September 22nd, Sunset Hills SGA  participated in the Green Apple Day of Service.  This is a national event, in which students, teachers and schools participate in a local service project.  Maggie McMeekin, Green Omaha Coalition, and Michelle Biodrowski, Keep Omaha Beautiful, joined the students of SGA to assist in the project.  The students were given a short presentation on the importance of keeping storm drains free of trash, debris and toxic materials.  After the presentation they went out with safety vests and gloves to clean debris from storm drains close to the school.  Students also put “No Dumping” stickers on any drains that did not already have them.  Thank you Sunset Hills SGA for your commitment to keeping our community cleaner and promoting responsible behavior.  Click Here to See More Photos
SGA Elections!
Sunset Hills Student Government Association is in full swing!  Last week, elections were held for representatives and officers for this year!  Thank you to everyone who expressed interest in being a part of this program!  
Congratulations to the following students: 

3rd Representatives:  Greta Mann and Trevor Spady
4th Representatives:  Jackson Ingvoldstad and Holli Saunders
5th Representatives:  Jenna Liakos and Will Christensen

Officers:
President:  Will Eikenbary
​Vice-President:  Griffin Wolf
Secretary:  Franklyn Slaven
Treasurer:  Matthew Salfity
Box-Tops:  Emma Barnhart
 
3rd Grade Researchers!
The third graders in Mrs. McMeekin's class have been learning about the physical geography, natural resources and climate of places in the United States.  Last week they were given the task to research those three areas of a different state.  The students learned about looking for the geography key words, while researching.  They used a combination of text and iPads to find their information.  Each student completed a brochure showing the geography of their state.
Sunset Hills Family Picnic!
Last Sunday, Sunset Hills held the first annual Back-to-School Picnic.  The picnic was held at Elmwood Park, and it was a beautiful evening!  Everyone brought their own picnic dinner to enjoy, and Community Club provided cookies.   The kids enjoyed the playgrounds and other games, while parents got the chance to talk with other Sunset families.  Teachers and staff from Sunset also stopped by!  It was a great turn out!  Thank you to everyone who came!  Click Here to See More Photos...
Sunset Hills Gives to Africa!
With the new, can mean out with the old!  This year, elementary schools received new curriculum for reading and writing.  This left a lot of books, materials and teacher's guides that were not needed in our classrooms anymore.  The Sunset staff wanted to see these things go to a school in need.  They were able to connect with a program called Reading Drive For Africa.  This program is committed to promoting literacy in Cameroon by providing access to books for children in the primary and secondary schools.  On Friday, August 11th, cars were loaded with all kinds of books and materials for kids in Cameroon!   What a great feeling to know someone will be learning to read from our materials!
Garden Clean-Up!
The Sunset Hills Community Club hosted a garden clean-up last weekend.  Parents and students volunteered their Saturday morning to help make Sunset beautiful.  They pulled weeds and spruced up the grounds all around the school.  Thank you to everyone who participated in this event!
Welcome Back!
Welcome Back!  We hope everyone had a safe, relaxing and fun summer!  It is exciting that we are ready to start the 2014-2015 school year!  Remember that this year the first bell will ring at 8:30, and we will start school with the second bell at 8:40.  We look forward to the first day of school on Monday, August 11th!
The Westside Community School District does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, creed, color, age, national origin or disability.
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